For a market like India, practicality has largely been associated with segments like MPV, a segment that offer 3-row seating on a budget. But the buyers are getting more and more inclined towards compact SUVs, a segment that changed the buying behaviour in the domestic market drastically. And so, people started looking for an SUV with 3-row seating on a budget, something which is a rarity in India.
In comes the Honda BR-V, a niche product offering the best of both the worlds – an SUV stance with the MPV practicality. While we have driven the car earlier and found it good, we decided to drive it for a longer period to know about the smaller details and driving bits, we might have missed earlier. This is the First Report under our long term review, which will be followed by a final report.
Here’s our Honda BR-V Long Term Review – First report!Honda BR-V offers a compelling SUV look from the front. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
Design and Cabin
The BR-V has a bold front fascia that’s akin to the WR-V compact SUV, making it look like a SUV from the front. It sports angular headlamps with a large chrome grille and chrome inserts on the fog lamps that give the car an aggressive stance. The tail lamps are connected by a reflector and give the car a wider appearance, although the car isn’t exactly wide. What it is, is long and tall. Interestingly, the car also has a massive ground clearance (210 mm), more than most of the other Compact SUVs.
The side profile reminds you of Mobilio, thanks to the kinked window line and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the BR-V marries the design and functionalities of WR-V compact SUV and Mobilio MPV – defining the BR-V characteristics.
Once you hop inside the car, the first thing that you’ll notice is overall good visibility thanks to a massive glass area, giving the cabin an airy feel. The all-black finish with silver accents work in favour of it and add a sporty character. Being a 7-seater, rear visibility is often a concern, but is not a problem with the BR-V. There are plenty of storage compartments and the plastic quality feels decent. There is a rear AC vent for back row passengers as well.Honda BR-V has an all black theme. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The instrument cluster is easy to read and also have an ‘Eco’ light that helps you monitor the fuel efficiency. There’s plenty of leg room, shoulder room and head room for occupants in the front two rows of the car, although it does get a little cramped up at the last row for tall passengers. Given the not-so-high height of the car, access to the last row is convenient.
The cabin has a nice feel to it, but it looks a little bit dated. Probably because most of the cars are now coming touchscreen infotainment system and the BR-V misses out on that. It is also undoubtedly a long car and hence it should have had parking sensors or a reverse parking camera on board, especially for those, who are upgrading from a hatchback and are not used to parking a car of this size.We are driving the 1.5 L diesel Honda BR-V. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
Engine, Mileage & Ride Quality
The Honda BR-V is available with a petrol and diesel engine option. The 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine has a power output 117 horsepower and 145 Nm of torque whereas the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine delivers 98.5 horsepower and 200 Nm of torque. The engines come connected to a 6-speed manual transmission and you can also opt for a CVT transmission, which is only available with the petrol engine, which also comes with steering-mounted paddle shifts.
The one we will be driving is the i-DTEC model with a manual gearbox. While the car didn’t exactly feel racy, it got the job done when it came to quick overtakes in the city and the engine felt refined on highways. The transmission is wasn’t the smoothest we have driven from Honda and the engine noise is bit rattling, but we will tell you the final review after driving it for the coming months.
The biggest plus is the 18 kmpl constant mileage we are getting in our initial few days of drive. While Honda claims 21+ kmpl ARAI certified figures, in real life conditions, getting 18 kmpl is pretty good. Safety is usually not a concern when it comes to Honda cars and it’s no different with the BR-V as it gets Dual airbags along with ABS with EBD.em>Honda BR-V has a striking rear end. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
We got our test unit with more than 21,000 km on the clock and we have set the trip-meter to 0 for better understanding of the mileage over the course of the next few months. Our first impressions are decent enough and we felt some things were missing from a car that competes in the SUV/MPV segment. However, the space inside the cabin is massive and can be used to run your local errands, drop someone to the airport or go for a weekend trip with family.
We will be regularly updating you about the way Honda BR-V performs in the coming reports and does the space alone is worth it?